SRINAGAR — Horticulture is one of the most important sectors in the Kashmir valley, contributing significantly to the UT’s financial stability. The variety of horticultural products like apple produce has earned world-wide fame because of its good quality and taste. However, this particular sector is witnessing a transformation due to apple grading machines.

One such machine was acquired by a fruit grower in Pulwama district last year, which was the first ever in the entire south Kashmir. The initiative was taken by Dr. Nisar Ahmad Latoo, a progressive and experienced orchardist from Drabgam village, who purchased the machine from Kaizen Agro Solution.

He said that the grading line made things easier and better. “It not only helped grade the apples as per their size but also saved a lot of time. This was a bonus given the seasonal shortage of labour found in the valley,” he added.

To compete with the global market, he believes that all farmers in the Valley should concentrate on new technologies and creative agricultural concepts like the apple grading machines.

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Another such apple grower from Anantnag district is Suhaib Ahmad Bhat. He says that he also purchased the machine from the same company, based in Ambala Cantt (town in Haryana).

“The machine fetched me good results,” Suhaib says, adding, “It has the capacity not only to clean the apples but it also adds shine to the produce by drying up any moisture that it might have.”

Aijaz Ahmad Bhat, Director of Horticulture Kashmir, who inaugurated the grading machine of Mr. Latoo in Drabgam village last year had said that apple growers were increasingly embracing modern methods.

The fruit growers who built the mini-grading line would be rewarded with Horticulture incentives, according to Director Horticulture, in order to inspire other orchardists.

Pertinently, the grading machine separates the apples according to their size and helps in attaining better market prices.

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Kaizen Agro Solution is the first company to foray into Kashmir valley with its best-in-class apple grading machines, made by a group of qualified engineers.

As per the company, the machines are made from high grade stainless steel 202 or 304 from TATA as well as Jindal Steels. “Theses are equipped with unique seven grading system that saves time, power and cost to complete the apple configuration according to size, height and weight,” Sanjay Bhatnagar, founder of Kaizen Agro Solution, says.

Different models of apple grading machines are designed by the company for domestic and commercial purposes.

Sanjay says that he wants fruit growers in Kashmir to use new technologies, on the similar pattern as their counter-parts in Himachal Pradesh. “I am just just a phone call away for the fruit growers in Kashmir if they require my guidance or even help in this connection,” he says with a gentle smile.

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